DUBBO Kangaroos were simply a cut above in Saturday's Blowes Cup third grade grand final at Ashwood Park as they took down hosts Bathurst Bulldogs 28-5.
(min cost $8)
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Kangaroos kept the Bulldogs' scoring opportunities to a minimum while soaking up the majority of possession thanks to their dominant defensive efforts.
After going into half-time down 15-5 Bulldogs made the Roos work harder for their points in the second half but they couldn't find a way to impact their own side of the scoreboard in the process.
"We came down here with a few goals and ticked all the today. It's the keenest I've seen them all year at training this week," Dubbo coach Dean Matthews said.
"Credit to Bathurst. They're a good side and they did well to get to the grand final from fourth.
"Jack Priest was great and Connor Marson was awesome from the penalty shots and Josh Sinisa led from the front."
Bulldogs coach Barry Froebel said the slow start for his side came back to bite them.
"I think we just didn't use the wind advantage that we had in the first half well enough. We got outplayed out in the backs," he said.
"Dubbo have put a good side together who have stayed together through the year. That was the same with our boys. It's not always our day but we'll be keen to cheer on the other two grades today."
The best period of the match for the Bulldogs was arguably the first five minutes of the game, where they kept the Kangaroos pinned down in their own half of the field.
However, a penalty in Dubbo's favour not only got them out of their own half, it would soon lead to the first try of the match.
Winger Robbie Moore found space down the left wing and made a run into Bulldogs' territory before his kick towards the infield found fullback Aiden Miller in support.
Miller beat the Bulldogs chasers to the ball and had his side on the board in the sixth minute.
Connor Marson added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Bulldogs were able to strike back quickly when they formed a maul close to corner post and James Patterson broke away from the rear of the pack with a dive for the try line down the short side.
That try didn't do much to halt the Roos, who began to build momentum from that point and started to utilise their pick and go game to full effect.
Bulldogs couldn't get their lineout functioning and that meant Dubbo enjoyed plenty of time near the hosts' try line.
That pressure soon led to the Kangaroos' second try of the match in the 18th minute when skipper Josh Sinisa scored near the uprights.
Roos came close to scoring on two more occasions before half-time, missing out on the first opportunity when pulled into touch and being called back for a forward pass on the second chance.
Marson was at least able to add three more points to the Roos' total with his penalty after the half-time siren.
Roos emerged strong as ever from the sheds and took just three minutes to find another try, this time through Connor Watts.
Bulldogs began to gain a little more possession in the second half but just as they began to look threatened they lost Ryan Armstrong to a yellow card.
The game became a 14-on-14 affair just a few minutes later when Dubbo prop Ash Sharpe was shown the same colour card.
The extra space didn't seem to provide either side a boost, and Dubbo would instead use the boot of Marson to do the damage.
He kicked two more successful penalties inside the last seven minutes of the match to seal the victory.
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